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Getting a Cat – Complete Checklist for New Cat Owners

 

Cats make wonderful companions and are great additions to any family. They are creatures of comfort, so if you’re a first-time cat owner, make sure to have all the essentials ready for them. Getting a new kitty is a big change for you and for your new friend. To help make this time easier for you, we’ve got the complete checklist of everything thing you need and need to know.

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Cat  Checklist

Important Considerations:

Lifestyle: While it’s true that cats don’t exactly need as much time as a new dog, but they still need love, attention and a stable family life. Ask yourself the following questions before jumping into adoption.

  • Do you or anyone in the house have allergies to cat hair, dander or dirt?
  • Do you have any other pets that may not take well to a new cat? If so, do you have a plan of introducing them to each other?
  • Who will be the primary caretaker?
  • Do you want a long hair or short hair breed? Long hair breeds will take more time for daily grooming and may have more hairballs.
  • Will work or social life affect your ability to properly care for them?
  • Does your residence allow pets and is your home suited for a new cat?
  • Would an older cat or younger cat better suit your lifestyle? Kittens take more time and have more energy, but older cats may need more veterinarian care.

Costs: You want to make sure that you can always care for your vet. The best way is to create a budget for a new cat before you bring them home.

  • Does your new pet need to be spayed or neutered?
  • Is there an adoption fee that needs to be paid?
  • Monthly expenses such as food, litter, pet sitting or new supplies
  • Licensing fees and rabies shots
  • Litter box and scoop
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Microchipping
  • Grooming Brush
  • Beds and toys

Shopping Checklist:

Once you’ve decided a new cat will fit well into your lifestyle and you can afford the cost of care, the next thing to do is hit the pet store to get them their supplies.

  • Age appropriate food
  • Water and food bowls
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • ID tags (make sure your phone number is on it)
  • Hard plastic cat carrier
  • Litter Box
  • Litter Scoop
  • Brush
  • Sponge and scrub brush for accidents and hairball clean up
  • Non-toxic cleaner
  • Toys (feathers on wands, catnip mouse, etc)
  • Blanket or bed
  • Cat toothbrush and toothpaste

There’s no doubt that cats add spunk and tons of joy to any home. They may seem aloof, but in reality, they are just as caring as they are smart. A peaceful home full of warmth and love is a perfect place for a new feline friend.

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Cat  Checklist

How to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

 

January is National Walk to Your Pet Month. Usually, that brings to mind images of walking your dog on a sunny day. But, what if you were walking with your cat instead? You may baulk at the suggestion, but it’s true! Cats can be trained to walk on a leash and they can also end up loving it.

First off, you’ll want to break them into the idea of a leash and harness easily. Cats are very independent by nature, so it’s best not to force them into too much too quickly. And always make sure to give them lots of praise and pets during all interactions while training. After all, we know how much cats love being praised!

leash

Equipment needed

 

  • Harness and Leash

Make sure you’re using a harness and not just a collar. If they try to run up the collar could choke them or break off. The harness will protect their neck and give you more control for their safety.

  • Treats

Get a few healthy treats (a great time for a dental chew treat) to reward them in training. After a while start to eliminate the treats as a reward, but it is a great starting incentive.

Easy Steps To Train Your Cat to Walk on Leash:

 

Step 1: Introduction

Introduce your cat to the harness and leash. Show it to them and let them sniff it. Then leave it laying around their space before you try it on them. This will help them get familiar with it before they have to put it on. Once you’re ready to try it out, put it on them while giving them praises. If they’re okay with it from the start then let them wear it around for a while. If they are not having any of it then take it off and try again tomorrow. Don’t push them. After a successful wear, give them a little treat.

Step 2: Indoor Practice

After they are used to the harness, it’s time to try the leash. Put it on and gently lead them around the house. You will know when they are fed up when they refuse to stand or move or when their tail switches or they flatten their ears. Put down treats in a line (think Hansel & Gretel) to get them to move forward. Walk around to their favorite spots for a little while so they can get acclimated to being tethered.

Step 3: Outside Adventure

Once they are used to the leash and harness indoors it is time to venture outside a little bit. Start in the quietest part of the yard and slowly let them explore the area around the door. Each time try to get them into going a little farther on each walk. Hopefully, within a few days or weeks, they’ll be loving their leash and the great outdoors.

 

Tips to Keep in Mind

 

  • Always consider your cat’s temperament. Some cats may take to walking much faster than others. Some can be comfortable within a week or two, some can take close to a month.
  • Expect a few setbacks. It’s possible that your cat will love a walk one day and the next something is different or scares them and they may freak out.
  • Never leave them alone or tethered on the leash.
  • Don’t let them climb trees while walking.

 

It may seem like an impossible task, but it isn’t! Your cat gets all the same benefits of walking as do dogs and ourselves. It’s a great way for them to be stimulated, get exercise and enjoy the sunshine.

Do you ever walk with your cat? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

 

How to Grow Catnip Indoors – Live with Liana!

 

 

It’s amazing how easy it is to successfully grow catnip of your own, both indoors and out. Have you ever purchased dried catnip at the store? Then you excitedly open it for your cat only to have them sniff and it lick nonchalantly before walking away? Or maybe if you were lucky, they may have rolled in it a little bit and took a nap on it. And you’re sitting there like, “Wait, I thought catnip was so much more exciting than that for cats???”

And the truth is, it really is supposed to be more fun for them. While some cats never really take to it, most love it, especially when it is fresh. Make sure to watch the whole video for our funny story about how Liana’s cat first reacted to the fresh plant. Because that’s just it, the dried catnip at the store isn’t fresh. Plus, it’s super easy to maintain and can grow into a wonderful thick bush.

Here are some quick easy steps to get you and your cat in catnip heaven:

  1. Purchase small live plants at your local pet store. Or if you have a green thumb you can try planting and growing them from seed.
  2. Water, water water! These plants need a lot of water, so make sure to water them at least every other day.
  3. Don’t forget to trim and clip them for optimal growth. Cut stems down near the center for a fuller plant. Also, you can clip a cut stem into two segments to stimulate two new branches for additional growth.

 

Ways to dry your plant:

  • Take two or three branches and tie the bottoms together
  • Find a cool dry place to hang them upside down for 2-3 weeks until dry
  • Or tear off the leaves whole and place into a dehydrator for 24 hours
  • Don’t crush the dried leaves until you are ready to give them to your kitty for maximum freshness

 

Do you have any funny catnip stories? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments below or on our YouTube & Facebook pages!

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Cat Lovers

 

Does your Valentine love cats? Because cat lovers are a very passionate bunch. And that means they usually love to get gifts from them or about them. So, here are some Valentine’s Day gifts for cat lovers sure to make that special Valentine in your life happy.

Cat Valentine’s Day Cards

There are many amazing Valentine’s Day cards with cats on them or cat-themed. Check out Etsy and Pinterest for some cute handmade cards to send to that special Valentine.

Fancy Cat Supplies 

While your cat may not need those fancy,new ceramic bowls, they sure would look good in your house. Many cat lovers would enjoy some nice looking cat accessories. For nice bowls and beds check out TJ Maxx or your local pet store.

Cat Clothing

No, I don’t mean clothing for cat (although that could be a good gift)! Cat clothing is anything with cats on it. For some cool T-shirts check out the Fort Collins Cat Rescue, or other rescue organizations. For other cool cat items, check out Etsy or Amazon. They carry everything from cat gloves to cat necklaces.

Self-Defense Cat Key Chain 

This is a really great Valentine’s Day gift for cat lovers. It combines two awesome things, cats and self-defense. This key chain is shaped like a cat, you put your fingers in the eyes and can use the ears to poke your attacker. This gift is sold all over and can also be found on Amazon.

Sponsor or Adopt a Cat

Most rescue organizations have a sponsorship program for their cats. In these types of programs, a donor pays for the cats adoption fee and sponsors some of its care. This makes it easier for shelters to take care of the cat and helps the cat find a home. You can sponsor a cat or donate in someone else’s name as a gift.  This can make a great Valentine’s Day gift for cat lovers.

Whether you are looking for gifts to give a cat lover on your behalf, or on the cats, these gifts are sure to please. I hope your Valentine enjoys these Valentine’s Day gifts for cat lovers.